Solar Panels The New Crop Rising Among The Waves of Grains

Posted by errohitbhardwaj on September 27th, 2019

Think of a situation, where your farm would be covered with snow one day and still on the foggy, monochromatic day, with the sun barely piercing the cloud, your solar panels planted in the two long rows will generate electricity. Yes, this may sound astonishing, but that’s true.


There are many people out there, who farm acres of land, but this year, they have put more solar panels and are selling the energy. Fortunately, their earnings have been three times more than the average harvest yield. Solar panels have become the new crop that is rising among the waves of grain.


A Move Encouraged By The State Law


Recently, many farmers have applied to host acreages of solar panels on their property. The state law has encouraged a move, which requires that renewable resources should be able to provide 25% of Illinois power by 2025.


Taking some fertile soil out of production can have serious consequences for a booming population. However, farmers are pointing to the uncertain economics of their lives and the need to have another source of income.


Last year, the price of the state’s most prominent crops was far below than original projections. According to the data shared by University of Illinois, corn went 7% percent lower and soybeans went 15% percent lower. Climate change is also urging many farmers to rent acreage for solar panels, so as to help combat global warming. This is the reason many farmers are opting for solar panels as their new crop, as it can also benefit their retirement.


Three Projects Under The State Program


The state program has three solar panel projects, which come in different sizes. The smallest caters to businesses and residential properties, with solar power system for home. Medium-size projects are community solar that require panels over about 15 acres and produce around 2 megawatts of power. This is enough to power up to 2000 homes. The largest undertakings will cover hundreds and thousands of acres, where the farm can operate like an individual power plant.


Midsize Projects Becoming Popular


The applications for midsize projects have become quite popular in Illinois. The state is actually hosting a lottery to determine who will be awarded contracts to sell solar electricity to large power companies in the state, which then will be delivered to subscribers.


The state is expecting about 1,000 applications, with many of the proposed projects located on farmland. Nearly 100 agreements are to be issued in March,2019. According to Illinois Power Agency officials, as the projects will go online, solar power production will raise from the current maximum energy capacity of 80 to 100 megawatts.


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